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Saint Kitts & Nevis - Foreign Relations

St. Kitts and Nevis maintains diplomatic relations with the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, Taiwan, Cuba, and South Korea, as well as with many Latin American countries and neighboring Eastern Caribbean states. It is a member of the Commonwealth, the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the Organization of American States, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, the Eastern Caribbean Regional Security System (RSS), and the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM). The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank is headquartered in St. Kitts.

St. Kitts and Nevis has chosen to recognize Taiwan instead of the People's Republic of China. Denzil L. Douglas Prime Minister Of The Federation Of St. Kitts And Nevls, stated to the 67th Session Of The United Nations General Assembly, 28 September, 2012"... throughout the twenty-nine years of our existence, the Republic of China on Taiwan has been a highly valued partner and ally. And throughout my nation, evidence of our collaborative efforts abound in areas as diverse as agriculture, agro-tourism, green energy, information technology, community development, and education - to name just a few. In my own nation - or even my region - however, Taiwan's unfailing and valued contributions to the work of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the International Civil Aviation Organization, the World Health Assembly, and others have long reflected their outstanding credentials as a valued and impactful member of the global community. It is only fitting and just that all remaining strictures pertaining to Taiwan's standing among the intemational community of nations be removed. And St. Kitts-Nevis appeals to this body to ensure that this will, indeed, be done."

The Simmonds government was one of several moderate / conservative governments to come to power (or, as in the case of the Antigua Labour Party of Vere Cornwall Bird, Sr., to be reconfirmed in power) in the Eastern Caribbean around 1980, Other examples could be found in Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. These new, generally pro-United States leaders found themselves and their thinking compatible with that of then-Prime Minister J.M.G.M. "Tom" Adams of Barbados, particularly on issues of regional security. Their number eventually came to include the Grenadian government of Herbert Blaize after the postintervention elections of 1984.

The Simmonds government supported the October 1983 United States-Caribbean intervention in Grenada and dispatched a handful of police personnel to participate in the Caribbean Peace Force on the island. The intervention was generally popular among the population of St. Kitts and Nevis; some observers suggested that Simmonds called early elections in 1984 in order to take advantage of this support. St. Kitts and Nevis has been an active participant in Caricom, the OECS, and the Regional Security System (RSS). The ninth meeting of the Authority of Heads of Government of the OECS (the organization's policy-making body) was held in May 1986 in St. Kitts; as rotating chairman, Simmonds headed both that meeting and the next one in Antigua in November of that year.

Since St. Kitts and Nevis attained full independence in 1983, relations with the United States have been friendly. The United States seeks to help St. Kitts and Nevis develop economically and to help strengthen its moderate, democratic, parliamentary form of government. St. Kitts and Nevis is a beneficiary of the U.S. Caribbean Basin Initiative. U.S. assistance is primarily channeled through multilateral agencies such as the World Bank and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), as well as the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) office in Bridgetown, Barbados. In addition, St. Kitts and Nevis benefits from U.S. military exercises and humanitarian civic action construction projects.

The objective of the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) is to promote economic development through private sector initiative in Central America and the Caribbean islands by expanding foreign and domestic investment in non-traditional sectors, diversifying CBI country economies and expanding their exports. It permits duty free entry of products manufactured or assembled in St. Kitts and Nevis into the United States.

St. Kitts and Nevis is strategically placed in the Leeward Islands, near maritime transport lanes of major importance to the United States. St. Kitts and Nevis' location close to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands makes the two-island federation attractive to narcotics traffickers. To counter this threat, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis cooperates with the United States in the fight against illegal narcotics. In 1995, the government signed a maritime law enforcement treaty with the United States, later amended with an overflight/order-to-land amendment in 1996. St. Kitts and Nevis also signed an updated extradition treaty with the United States in 1996, and a mutual legal assistance treaty in 1997.

St. Kitts and Nevis is a popular American tourist destination. In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, tourism declined, but the islands have seen growing numbers of visitors in recent years. Fewer than 1,000 U.S. citizens reside on the island, although students and staff of Ross University Veterinary School and the Medical University of the Americas (Nevis) constitute a significant population of U.S. citizens.

The United States maintains no official presence in St. Kitts and Nevis. The Ambassador and Embassy officers are resident in Barbados and frequently travel to St. Kitts and Nevis. A U.S. consular agent residing in nearby Antigua, however, assists U.S. citizens in St. Kitts and Nevis.

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Page last modified: 19-07-2017 18:55:28 ZULU